First, Your Sword
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:7–8, NIV).
Britain claims no greater naval hero than Lord Horatio Nelson, the British admiral from the eighteenth century. Although best known for his brilliance and dedication to his duties, Lord Nelson was also noted for his courtesy and kindness toward those he defeated. On one occasion, a defeated admiral strode across the deck to meet Lord Nelson. With a sword at his side, the bested admiral put his hand out in surrender. Lord Nelson looked at him, but did not immediately shake his hand. Instead he nodded and said, “Your sword first, then your hand.”
What our heavenly Father does is greater. He wants to give us the gift of grace and provision, and He wants us to enjoy the love of Jesus Christ. So first He extends His hand. Then He demands that we submit our swords and any area of self-reliance in our lives to Him. We are to give Him our hearts and our wills first. Accept the hand of the Lord by submitting to the lordship of Jesus and you will immediately be blessed with all He has to offer—such as kindness that knows no bounds.